Patent and trademark documents, advertisements, sales and marketing material, market research, photographs, packaging, company newsletters and magazines, and business records documenting the history of the Maidenform Company from 1922 to1997.
Collection organized into eleven series.
Series 1, Company History, 1922-1990
Series 2, News Articles, 1941-1997
Series 3, Patents, Trademarks, and Registrations, 1871-1979
Series 4, Publications, 1931-1997
Series 5, Sales and Marketing Materials, 1929-1997
Series 6, Advertising, 1929-1997
Series 7, Photographs, 1927-1993
Series 8, Patterns, circa 1950s
Series 9, World War II Activities, 1941-1946
Series 10, Labor Relations, 1937-1990
Series 11, Miscellaneous Unprocessed Materials
Biographical / Historical:
The history of Maidenform, Incorporated began at Enid Frocks, a small dress shop in New York City owned and operated by Enid Bissett. Ida Rosenthal was a Russian Jewish immigrant and seamstress at Enid's shop. In 1922, Ida and Enid decided that the fit and appearance of their custom-made dresses would be enhanced if improvements were made to the bandeaux style bras then in vogue. They gathered the bandeaux in the middle in a design modification that provided more support in a manner they believed enhanced, rather than downplayed, a woman's natural figure. Ida's husband, William, added straps and further refined the style. The called their bras "Maidenform", in counterpoint to the "Boyish Form" brand then in vogue. Initially, the bras were given away with each dress they sold. As the bras gained popularity they began selling them, and eventually the bras became so popular they stopped making dresses altogether and shifted to full-scale brassiere manufacturing. The first Maidenform plant opened in Bayonne, N.J. in 1925. After World War II, the company began marketing heavily in Europe and Latin America. Eventually, Maidenform operated plants in West Virginia, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Documentation for the development and manufacture of a "pigeon vest" is also included in the collection. The pigeon vest allowed troopers to carry homing pigeons with them as they parachuted behind enemy lines. During World War II, Maidenform manufactured these pigeon vests and silk parachutes for the war effort.
Maidenform advertising campaigns were enormously successful, and generated controversy as well as praise. The now famous "I Dreamed" campaign was launched in 1949; this campaign ran for 20 years, making it one of the longest running campaigns in the history of advertising. The advertisements featured models in everyday or fantastic situations, elaborately costumed but wearing only a Maidenform bra above the waist. This campaign was followed by the "Maidenform Woman" campaign which was credited with boosting sales by 200 percent in some stores. The "Dares to Dream" campaign played off the "I Dreamed" tagline in 1984, and in 1987, the "Celebrity" campaign began. The "Celebrity" ads were notable for the absence of women in lingerie; instead, well-known male actors discussed their feelings about women and lingerie in print and commercial advertisements. The tone of the advertising shifted in 1992 with a series of ads called "The Women's Advocacy" campaign.
Maidenform was family owned and operated until 1997. After the death of William Rosenthal in 1958, his wife, Ida, became the president of their company. In 1963, she suffered an incapacitating stroke. At this time, son-in-law Dr. Joseph Coleman became head of the company. Upon his death in 1968, his wife (the only surviving child of Ida and William) Beatrice Rosenthal Coleman, gained complete control over the business until her death in 1990.
The Ida and William Rosenthal Foundation, a philanthropic and charitable institution founded in 1953, is run by granddaughter Catherine Brawer.
The Division of Home and Community Life holds Maidenform artifacts including brassieres, girdles, and "long-lines," and two of the costumes used in the "I Dreamed" campaign.
The collection was donated by Maidenform, Incorporated in May 1997.
The collection is open for research use. Only reference copies of audiovisual materials may be used for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
The donor has imposed restrictions on reproduction, broadcast or use of the collection for commercial purposes of any kind by third parties. Reproduction, broadcast or other use of the collection for commercial purposes of any kind by third parties is subject to prior written consent. These permissions will be required until July 2047. Please see the repository for further details.
Smithsonian Institution. Traveling Exhibition Service Search this
8 cu. ft. (8 record storage boxes)
Digital versatile discs
This accession consists of records documenting the activities of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) regarding the planning, execution,
administration, and promotion of traveling exhibitions "Looping the Loop: Posters of Early Flight", "Magic, Myths, and Minerals: Chinese Jades from the Sackler Gallery", "Small
Wonder: Worlds in a Box", "At the Controls: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Looks at Cockpits", "Beyond Baseball: The Life of Roberto Clemente", "American Sabor:
Latinos in U.S. Popular Music", "At First Sight: Photography and the Smithsonian", "Ocean Planet: Smithsonian Environmental Awareness Program", "After the Revolution: Everyday
Life in America, 1780-1800", "The Kennedy's - Portrait of a Family: Photographs by Richard Avedon", "American Glass: Masters of the Art", "The Burgess Shale: Evolution's Big
Bang", "The Artistry of African Currency", "Booming Out: Mohawk Ironworkers Build New York", "Creativity and Resistance: Maroon Cultures of the Americas", "Exit Saigon, Enter
Little Saigon: Vietnamese America Since 1975", "The White House Garden", "An Ocean Apart: Contemporary Vietnamese Art from the United States and Vietnam", "Anteaters: Fast
Food Specialists", "Diana Walker - Photojournalist", "Spirited Objects: Traditional Craft for the 21st Century", and "Telling a Crow Story: The Photographs of Richard Throssel".
Materials include correspondence, memoranda, brochures, concepts, illustrations, proposals, scripts, books, exhibition catalogs, rights and permissions catalogs, promotional
materials, clippings, installation photographs, floor plans, loan information, object lists, fundraising, contracts and agreements, newsletters, drawings, reports, checklists,
itineraries, visitor comment books, notes, slides, magazines, publications, negatives, transparencies, videotapes, budget summaries, and related materials. Some materials
are in electronic format.
Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2031; Transferring office; 9/27/1984 memorandum, Glenn to Loar; Contact reference staff for details.
Correspondence; writings; speeches and notes for lectures; photographs; and files on museums and institutions in the U.S.
REEL 1685: Condolence letters sent to Wilder's wife Sally following his death from leukemia in 1979. Included are letters from Richard Avedon and Ansel Adams.
REELS 1846-1848: Correspondence, including a letter Sept. 28, 1964 from G. O'Keeffe and letters of condolence; memorial resolutions; speeches and notes for lectures; material on the architect George Nelson; an unpublished manuscript on art of the West and manuscripts of articles and catalogs; magazine articles; photographs; and 15 files of program and building analyses of museums and institutions in the U.S.
REEL 1853: Several letters between Wilder and Harry N. Abrams, 1971 and 1976; proposals; and brief drafts for an unpublished manuscript by Wilder on the art of the American West.
Biographical / Historical:
Museum director; Fort Worth, Tex. Director of the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, 1961-1979. He established an active exhibition program that sent shows on the American West to the USSR and Japan. He also established the largest collection of photographs in the southwest. Over 300,000 prints are stored there.
Microfilmed as part of the Archives of American Art's Texas project.
Material on reels 1685 & letter from Georgia O'Keeffe lent for microfilming 1979-1980; material on reels 1846-1848 & 1853 donated 1979-1980 by Sally D. Wilder, widow of Wilder.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Art museum directors -- Texas -- Fort Worth Search this
The Cleve Gray papers, 1933-2005, measure 9.2 linear feet. Papers include biographical material, alphabetical files, writings, artwork, audio/visual records, artifacts, printed material, and photographs. Extensive alphabetical files contain personal and professional correspondence as well as subject files relating to projects and interests. Especially well-documented are: Gray's involvement with the Vietnam protest movement; and Threnody, his best-known work composed of fourteen large panels lamenting the dead of both sides sides in Vietnam, commissioned by the Neuberger Museum of Art.
Scope and Content Note:
The Cleve Gray papers, 1933-2005, measure 9.2 linear feet. Papers include biographical material, alphabetical files, writings, artwork, audio/visual records, artifacts, printed material, and photographs. Extensive alphabetical files contain personal and professional correspondence as well as subject files relating to projects and interests. Especially well-documented are: Gray's involvement with the Vietnam movement; and Threnody, his best-known work composed of fourteen large panels lamenting the dead of both sides sides in Vietnam, commissioned by the Neuberger Museum of Art.
Among the biographical material are award and membership certificates, biographical notes, and personal documentation.
The alphabetical files contain Cleve Gray's personal and professional correspondence, as well as subject files relating to projects and interests. Correspondence is with friends and family, colleagues, publishers, museum curators and directors, art dealers, collectors, and fans. Among the correspondents of note are: Jacques Barzun, James E. Davis, Naum Gabo, Louise N. Grace, Hans and Fridel Richter, and Jacques and Gaby Villon. Other substantial correspondence includes: Berry-Hill Galleries, Betty Parsons Gallery, Connecticut Commission on the Arts, Jacques Seligmann and Co., Neuberger Museum of Art, Pratt Institute, Princeton University, and Rhode Island School of Design. Subject files mostly consist of correspondence, but include printed material and some photographs. Among the subject files are: Art Collection of Cleve and Francine Gray, Artist-Dealer Consignments and Visual Artists' Rights Act of 1989, Artists' Tax Equity Act of 1979, Promised Gifts to Museums, Threnody, Vestments, and Vietnam Protest. Of particular interest are files relating to the Estate of Hans Richter (Cleve Gray, executor), and Gray's research correspondence and illustrations for his Cosmopolitan article "Women-Leaders of Modern Art."
Writings are manuscripts and drafts, research materials, notes, and miscellaneous writings by Cleve Gray and other authors. Those by Gray include articles and catalog introductions on a wide range of art-related topics, as well as book and exhibition reviews. Also found are a book proposal, texts and notes for lectures and talks, miscellaneous notes, poems, political statements, and student papers. Of particular interest are autobiographical notes in the form of a chronology that his biographer, Nicholas Fox Weber, cited as an "autochronology."
Among the writings by other authors are pieces about Cleve Gray including Nicholas Fox Weber's manuscript Cleve Gray. A significant amount of material relates to three books edited by Gray: David Smith by David Smith: Sculpture and Writings, Hans Richter, and John Marin. Research material survives for an unpublished volume, Naum Gabo. Also included are notes relating to his translation of A l'Infinitif by Marcel Duchamp. Jane Daggett Dillenberger is represented by a lecture, "The Resurrection in Art." The remaining items by other authors are unsigned; of particular interest is a small notebook of reminiscences and notes about Jackson Pollock.
Artwork by Cleve Gray consists mostly drawings and sketches, and a small number of paintings, prints, and watercolors. Works by other artists consist are an unsigned mobile of paper cut-outs, possibly by Alexander Calder, and a pencil drawing signed Dick (probably Richard Avedon).
Audio recordings are a radio broadcast featuring Cleve Gray, several lectures by Gray on John Marin, and a lecture titled "Meaning in the Visual Arts." Other recordings are of Hans Richter and an interview with Jimmy Ernst conducted by Francine du Plessix Gray. Also found is a videocassette of "Glenville School Students at SUNY (Lincoln Center Activity)."
Artifacts are a Chinese scroll representative of those that hung in Cleve Gray's studio, two of his paintbrushes, Aberdeen-Angus Breeders' Association blue ribbon, and Neuberger Museum of Art Lifetime Achievement Award.
The vast majority of printed material - articles, clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, reproductions of art work, etc. - are about or by Cleve Gray. Miscellaneous items and publications mentioning Gray consist of annual reports, brochures, calendars, newsletters, programs, etc. Clippings about Vietnam and Vietnam protest memorabilia reflect his passionate involvement in the anti-war movement; a small number of these items mention Gray or were written by him.
Photographs are of artwork, events, people, places, and miscellaneous subjects. Most of the art work appearing in the photographs is by Cleve Gray and includes images of destroyed paintings. Also found is an original print of Photo Abstraction by Gray, circa 1934. Of particular note are photographs of Threnody, among them preparatory drawings and views of the work in progress. Photographs of artwork by other artists include Louise N. Grace, Jacques Lipchitz, John Marin, Hans Richter, and Jacques Villon.
Photographs of people are mainly portraits of Gray, and views of him with his wife and sons. Other individuals appearing in photographs are Hans Richter and some of Richter's descendants. Pictures of places consist of Gray's studio.
Events are an unidentified exhibition opening. Miscellaneous subjects are mostly exhibition installations. Illustrations consist of photographs published in David Smith by David Smith: Sculpture and Writings. Also found are small number of negatives and color transparencies.
The collection is organized into 8 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1943-circa 2001 (Box 1; 0.1 linear ft.)
Series 2: Alphabetical Files, 1936-2005 (Boxes 1-5, 9; 4.3 linear ft.)
Series 3: Writings, 1935-2000 (Boxes 5-6; 0.85 linear ft.)
Series 4: Artwork, circa 1933-1987 (Boxes 6, 9, OV 12; 0.45 linear ft.)
Series 5: Audio/Visual Records, 1971-1989 (Box 6; 0.25 linear ft.)
Series 6: Artifacts, 1957-1999 (Box 6, RD 11; 0.45 linear ft.)
Series 7: Printed Material, 1933-2005 (Boxes 7-8; 1.25 linear ft.)
Series 8: Photographs, circa 1934-2002 (Boxes 8-10; 1.15 linear ft.)
Abstract Expressionist painter, sculptor, and writer Cleve Gray (1918-2004) lived and worked in Connecticut where he was politically active in the Vietnam protest movement and other liberal causes.
Born Cleve Ginsberg in New York City (the family changed its name to Gray in 1936), he attended the Ethical Culture School and at a young age developed a fascination with color and paint. At the urging of friends, Cleve's parents allowed him to accompany a school friend for lessons with George Bellows' student Antonia Nell. She encouraged and inspired the young artist, and a still life he painted in her class was shown at the National Academy of Design's 1932 annual exhibition. Miss Nell also introduced him to Louise N. Grace, an artist who became a good friend and had a lasting influence on him. While a student at Phillips Academy, Cleve studied painting with Bartlett Hayes and aspired to paint in France. Upon his graduation in 1936, he was awarded the Samuel F. B. Morse Prize for most promising art student.
Gray's mother was always supportive of his career choice. His businessman father, who didn't understand his son's desire to be an artist, insisted on a college education. Cleve chose Princeton, where he majored in art and archaeology, and studied painting with James E. Davis. His senior thesis was on Chinese landscape painting; both Eastern philosophy and art were long-term influences on Gray's work and outlook. He graduated summa cum laude in 1940, and then spent several months painting while living at the farm of a family friend in Mendham, New Jersey.
When a doctor suggeted that a dry climate might relieve sinus and asthma problems, Gray moved to Tucson, Arizona. Once settled in the desert, he contacted Louise N. Grace, whom he had met as a young teenager through his art instructor. Miss Grace, an artist and daughter of the founder of W. R. Grace and Co., was a highly cultured and independent woman older than his parents. The summer before Gray entered Phillips Academy, she had hired him to brush ground color onto canvases for murals she was painting for "Eleven Arches," her home in Tuscon then under construction. Miss Grace invited Gray to visit "Eleven Arches" to see the completed murals, and despite the substantial age difference, their friendship deepened; Gray found in her intellectual and spiritual guidance that was lacking in his own family. He remained in Tucson until enlisting in the U. S. Army in 1942, and they corresponded frequently during the the war. When a stroke in 1948 prevented Miss Grace from participating in the extensive tour of Europe she was arranging for a small group of friends, including Gray, she provided sufficient funds and insisted he make the trip on his own. Another stroke, suffered while Gray was traveling, left her in a coma; he was not permitted to see her again. Upon her death in 1954, Gray inherited "Eleven Arches."
Between 1943 and 1946, Gray was stationed in England, France, and Germany, serving in Army Signal Intelligence. Most of his work was performed at night, and he spent his free time drawing. While in London, Gray produced many colored pencil drawings of buildings that had been bombed. In France, a Red Cross volunteered to introduce him to Jacques Villon; although unfamiliar with the artist, Gray knew of Villon's brother, Marcel Duchamp, and accepted the invitation. Jacques and Gaby Villon lived near Gray's billet and he became a frequent visitor. Their friendship was important to his development as an artist. After being discharged from the Army in 1946, Gray remained in France to work with Villon who introduced him to the study of color and the concept of intellectual quality in painting. Gray also studied informally with André Lhote, Villon's former teacher. "American Painters in Paris," an exhibition presented in 1946 at Galerie Durand-Ruel, included work by Cleve Gray.
He returned to New York City in 1946. In the tight post-war rental market Gray managed to find a small room upstairs from a grocery store on East 106th Street for use as a studio. He commenced painting the London Ruins series based on drawings he had made during the war, and began thinking about exhibiting in New York. Gray secured introductions to Pierre Matisse, Curt Valentin, and Dorothy Miller. They encouraged him, but no opportunities came his way until Germain Seligmann, whose gallery was expanding its scope to include contemporary art, followed the advice of Curt Valentin and looked at Gray's work. Gary's first solo exhibition, held at Jacques Seligmann and Co., included selections from the London Ruins series, paintings done in Maine and Arizona, and a few portraits. The New York Times called it "an auspicious first," and one of the London Ruins series was selected by Edward Alden Jewell for the "Critic's Exhibition" at Grand Central Gallery.
Gray found New York City too frenetic. In 1949 he bought a large, old house in Warren, Connecticut, and lived and worked at "Graystones" for the remainder of his life. Half of a 6-car garage was converted to a studio; many years later, his studio moved to a barn, its renovation and design planned by sculptor and architect Tony Smith.
He married Francine du Plessix in 1957. Always interested in literature and philosophy, in the 1960s Francine du Plessix Gray began contributing articles to The New Yorker and is still affiliated with the magazine. Her reviews and articles appeared in prominent publications, and she wrote several award-winning novels and biographies. Their sons, Thaddeus and Luke (now a painter), were born in 1959 and 1961. Francine's mother, Tatiana du Plessix (the hat designer Tatiana of Saks), and step-father, the sculptor Alexander Liberman (also former art director of Vogue and later editorial director of Condé Nast publications) became Cleve Gray's closest friends.
The paintings and drawings of Cleve Gray - first consisting of figures and portraits, and then abstract compositions - were often produced in series. The earliest series, London Ruins, grew from the colored pencil drawings made while stationed in London during World War II. Travels to France, Italy, Greece, Morocco, Hawaii, Spain, Egypt, Japan, and Czechoslovakia, inspired many series, among them: Etruscan, Augury, Ceres, Demeter Landscape, Hera, Morocco, Hawaii, Ramses, Perne, Hatshepsut, Roman Walls, Zen, and Prague. His hometown, the Holocaust, and musicians inspired other series: Warren, Sleepers Awake!, Bela Bartok, and Four Heads of Anton Bruckner. Some series were works on paper, others were collage canvases, and a few series later spawned prints. Gray began using acrylics in the 1940s. Although the medium offered many benefits, he did not always like its appearance and frequently returned to oils. Around 1966 Gray was painting almost exclusively with acrylic, and eventually developed a technique of thinning the paint and applying successive layers of color (sometimes by pouring or with a sponge) on cotton duck rather than traditional canvas.
Gray was attracted to sculpture, too, working in that medium at different points in his career. His first sculpture, in plaster, was completed in 1959. In the early 1960s he visited a commercial sand-casting foundry and became excited about learning to cast in bronze. He made about a dozen sculptures to cast in sand, but due to too much undercutting, their casting became too difficult a problem. Lava flows seen while in Hawaii during 1970 and 1971 inspired a return to sculpture. This time, he used wood, papier maché, and metal. Gray then decided these pieces should be cast in bronze, and he was determined to do it himself. Friends taught him the lost wax process and he began working at the Tallix Foundry in Peekskill, New York where, over the next year, he cast about forty bronzes.
Gray's best known work is Threnody, a lament for the dead of both sides in Vietnam. In 1972, Gray received a commission to fill a very large gallery of the soon-to-open Neuberger Museum of Art (State University of New York, College at Purchase) designed by Philip Johnson. Friends of the Neuberger Museum paid his expenses and Gray, who was enormously excited about the project he considered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, donated his time. Developing plans for the execution of Threnody consumed most of his time during 1972 and 1973. Composed of a series of fourteen panels, each approximately twenty feet square, the piece presented a number of technical challenges. It was constructed and painted in situ during the summer and early fall of 1973. Since then, Threnody has been reinstalled at the Neuberger Museum of Art on several occasions.
Gray was commissioned to design liturgical vestments for two Episcopal churches in Connecticut in the 1970s. A chasuble, stoles, and a mitre were commissioned by the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut in 1984.
He won the "Outdoor Art at the Station Competition," for Union Station, Hartford, Connecticut. His very large porcelain enamel tile mural, Movement in Space, was installed on the façade of the transportation center in 1988.
Gray began writing occasional articles and exhibition reviews in the late 1940s. His concern with rational structure in art led him to question Abstract Expressionism and write "Narcissus in Chaos." This article, published in 1959 by The American Scholar, drew considerable attention. In 1960, Cosmopolitan published "Women - Leaders of Modern Art" that featured Nell Blaine, Joan Brown, Elaine de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Sonia Gretchoff, Grace Hartigan, Ethel Magafan, Louise Nevelson, and Georgia O'Keeffe. Between 1960 and 1970, Gray was a contributing editor of Art In America, producing numerous articles (a few co-authored with Francine) and reviews for the periodical. He edited three books, David Smith by David Smith: Scupture and Writings, Hans Richter, and John Marin, all published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, and translated Marcel Duchamp's A l'Infinitif.
During the early 1960s, Gray became intensely focused on the situation in Vietnam. His first artistic response came in 1963 with Reverend Quan Duc, painted to commemorate a Buddhist monk who had immolated himself. Francine, too, felt strongly about the issue and over time the couple became increasingly active in the anti-war movement. They joined a number of organizations and helped to found a local chapter of Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The years 1968 and 1969 were an especially intense and active period for the Grays. They protested, wrote and spoke out against the war, raised funds to support anti-war political candidates, and on a few occasions were arrested and jailed. Writing for Art in America, editing the book series, and anti-war activities left little time for his art. In 1970 Gray refocused his attention on painting.
Beginning in 1947, Gray was always represented by a New York Gallery: Jacques Seligmann and Co. (1947-1959), Staempfli Gallery (1960-1965), Saidenberg Gallery (1965-1968), Betty Parsons Gallery (1968-1983), Armstrong Gallery (1984-1987), and Berry-Hill Galleries (1988-2003). He was represented by galleries in other cities, as well, but not as consistently or for such long periods.
He exhibited extensively in group and solo exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally. In addition to numerous solo exhibitions presented by the dealers who represented Gray, there were retrospective exhibitions at: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Brooklyn Museum, Columbus Museum of Art, Krannert Art Museum (University of Illinois, Champaign), Princeton University Art Museum, Rhode Island School of Design, and Wadsworth Atheneum.
Many museums' permanent collections include the work of Cleve Gray, among them: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Butler Institute of American Art, Columbus Museum of Art, Neuberger Museum of Art (SUNY, College at Purchase), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Newark Museum, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Phillips Collection, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery (University of Nebraska, Lincoln), Smithsonian Institution, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Yale University Art Gallery.
Cleve Gray served as artist-in-residence at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art in 1963 and at the Honolulu Academy of Arts in 1970, both sponsored by Ford Foundation programs. In 1980, he was appointed an artist-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome, where Francine concurrently served as a writer-in-residence; they returned for shorter periods during each of the subsequent seven years. Cleve Gray was presented the Connecticut Arts Award in 1987, and the Neuberger Museum of Art Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. He was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Hartford in 1992, and was elected a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1998. In addition, he was a trustee of the Neuberger Museum of Art, New York Studio School, Rhode Island School of Design, and Wadsworth Atheneum.
Cleve Gray hit his head and suffered a massive subdural hematoma after falling on ice outside of his home. He died the following day, December 8, 2004.
Exhibition catalogs and announcements and two scrapbooks donated to the Archives in 1967 and 1968 were microfilmed on reels D314-D315. Items on reel D315, transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum Library in 1975, are not described in this finding aid.
The Cleve Gray papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Mr. Gray in 1967 and 1968. The bulk of the collection was given by his widow, Francine du Plessix Gray, in 2007 and 2008.
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordigs with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
The Cleve Gray papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
The collection is open for research. Medical documents, financial materials and some correspondence in Career series are restricted. Use requires an appointment.
The Ellis B. Haizlip papers are the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. Rights to work produced during the normal course of Museum business resides with the Anacostia Community Museum. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.
Ellis B. Haizlip papers, Anacostia Communityh Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Doris Sanders.
James Baldwin was a writer and an activist and is one of the most prominent voices from his generation to bring light to issues of racial and sexual discrimination. This collection contains correspondence, photographs, manuscripts, and awards. The collection provides insight into his family, writing process, and travels during his lifetime.
Scope and Contents:
The James Baldwin Collection provides insight into Baldwin's life as a writer and activist. The collection contains correspondence, photographs, manuscripts, and awards. A significant portion of the collection are photographs by photojournalist Frank Dandridge. The collection focuses on Baldwin's grade school educational career, his writing process, as well as his thoughts about social equality and civil rights.
The materials in this collection have been kept at the folder level and separated into six series. The materials have been ordered and organized based on the content. Series 6 has been broken down into a smaller subseries dedicated to the Frank Dandridge photographic prints. Series 8: Oversize Materials acts as an extension of the first five series, with materials that could not be housed with their corresponding materials due to size constraints. Within each series and subseries, the folders are organized as close to the collection's original order as when it was acquired.
James Arthur Baldwin (1924–1987) was born in Harlem, New York, on August 2, 1924, to Emma Berdis Jones, originally from Princess Anne, Maryland. He was reared by his mother and stepfather David Baldwin, whom Baldwin referred to as his father and whom he describes as extremely strict. He did not know his biological father. As the oldest of nine children, Baldwin took seriously the responsibility of being a big brother and his mother's right hand. He cared for and protected his three younger brothers and five sisters in a household governed by the rigid rules of their father, a Baptist preacher, originally from New Orleans, Louisiana.
Between the ages of fourteen and sixteen, Baldwin, himself, became a preacher at the Fireside Pentecostal Assembly, where he developed a celebrated preaching style. Baldwin's brief experience in the church would have a sustained impact on his rhetorical style and on the themes, symbols, and biblical allusions in his writings. Baldwin's Pentecostal experience is, in fact, essential to understanding his complex views on Christianity, which he espoused in his speeches and publications. His experience would also serve in part as the underpinnings of his stance on religion. In The Fire Next Time, Baldwin proclaims, "If the concept of God has any validity or any use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving. If God cannot do this, it is time we got rid of Him."
During his early teen years, Baldwin attended Frederick Douglass Junior High School, where he met his French teacher and mentor Countee Cullen, who achieved prominence as a poet of the Harlem Renaissance. Baldwin went on to DeWitt Clinton High School, where he edited the school newspaper The Magpie and participated in the literary club, just as Cullen had done when he was a student there. By high school graduation, he had met his close friends at DeWitt Clinton—Richard Avedon, Emile Capouya, and Sol Stein.
The 1940s marked several turning points in Baldwin's life. In 1942, he graduated from high school, and a year later he witnessed the New York Race Riots and experienced the death of his father. After this emotional loss, Baldwin felt more than ever it was important to play father figure to his siblings. He worked at menial jobs during the day, and at night he played guitar in Greenwich Village cafes and wrote long hours, trying to fulfill his dream of becoming a writer.
In 1944, Baldwin met Richard Wright, whose written work spoke to his heart and who would also become a mentor. Baldwin appreciated Wright's strong opinions about race in America, and he greatly valued their intellectual exchange. Wright helped Baldwin to obtain a fellowship to write his first novel, which enabled him to leave for Paris in 1948, where the older writer had relocated a few years earlier. However, the two were often at odds about the ways in which they approached race in their work. Baldwin wrote three essays explicating his critique of Wright's "protest art." This conflict eventually led to the demise of their friendship.
In 1948, at age twenty-four, Baldwin left the United States to live in Paris, France, as he could not tolerate the racial and sexual discrimination he experienced on a daily basis. Professor Kendall Thomas of Columbia Law School explains that Baldwin left his country because of racism and Harlem because of homophobia--two aspects of his identity that made him a frequent target of beatings by local youth and the police. Years later, when asked about his departure, Baldwin explained in a Paris Review interview: "My luck was running out. I was going to go to jail, I was going to kill somebody or be killed" (1984). In Paris, Baldwin began to interact with other writers. He reconnected with Richard Wright, and for the first time, he met Maya Angelou, with whom he maintained a close relationship.
Baldwin would spend the next forty years abroad, where he wrote and published most of his works. Between 1960 and 1970, Baldwin lived regularly in Istanbul, Turkey. Still, the violence and assassinations in the United States during the politically turbulent 1960s took an emotional toll on Baldwin. After the assassination of his three friends—Medgar Evers in 1963, Malcolm X in 1965, and Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968—Baldwin suffered an emotional breakdown and eventually moved to the South of France to recuperate. In 1970, he settled in a house in the village of St. Paul de Vence, where he would live the rest of his life.
During his years abroad, Baldwin returned to the United States frequently and considered himself a "transatlantic commuter." In 1955, he signed a lease for an apartment at 63 West 97th Street in New York, and from the mid 1960s on, he maintained a home at 137 West 71st Street in Manhattan. When Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968, Baldwin was actually living in California. Many of Baldwin's extended visits were to spend time with his large and beloved family and to participate in Civil Rights Movement events. He attended the March on Washington in 1963 and the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. Baldwin also participated in literary events, such as the 1965 conference titled "The Negro Writer's Vision of America" sponsored by the New School of Social Research in New York. During his presentation, Baldwin addressed the conference theme, stating, "I know a story which America denies. And it denies it for the very good reason that my story, once told, confronts it with the truth about itself. In fact, my story, once told, will liberate America. The possibility of liberation—the necessity of becoming responsible for one's own life—is what most people most profoundly fear."
Baldwin passed away on November 30, 1987, in his house in St. Paul de Vence after a short battle with stomach cancer. A week later, he was laid to rest at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City and buried at the Ferncliff Cemetery in New York. Family members and friends participated in a large service during which Toni Morrison, Amiri Baraka, and Maya Angelou delivered touching remarks about their friend and brother. Angelou stated that Baldwin's love "opened the unusual door for me, and I am blessed that James Baldwin was my brother."
Literary and Civil Rights Timeline
1924 -- Born August 2nd
1938 -- Graduates from Frederick Douglass Junior High School, where his early ambitions in writing were encouraged by his teacher Countee Cullen, the Harlem Renaissance poet
1942 -- Graduates from DeWitt Clinton High School, where he was a member of the literary club and edited the school newspaper The Magpie
1944 -- Meets writer Richard Wright, who refers Baldwin's first draft of Go Tell It On The Mountain to Harper and Brothers publishing house
1945 -- Receives a $500.00 Saxton Fellowship from Harper and Brothers; the first draft of Go Tell It On The Mountain is rejected by Harper and Doubleday; Baldwin begins writing reviews for The Nation and The New Leader
1947 -- Publishes essay "History as Nightmare" in The New Leader
1948 -- Publishes essay "The Harlem Ghetto" and short story "Previous Condition" in Commentary; Baldwin moves to Paris
1949 -- Publishes "Everybody's Protest Novel," in which he critics Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin and Richard Wright's Native Son; jailed in Paris for eight days for theft (falsely accused of stealing hotel bed sheets)
1951 -- Publishes "Many Thousands Gone" in the Partisan Review; attack on Richard Wright leads to breakup; Baldwin completes Go Tell It On the Mountain in Switzerland, where he stayed three months with Swiss friend and lover Lucien Happersberger
1953 -- Publishes "Stranger in the Village" in Harper's Magazine; the essay is based on his stay in Switzerland
1954 -- Wins Guggenheim Fellowship; attends MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire
1955 -- Attends Yadao, an artists' community in Sarasota Springs, New York; revises Amen Corner during Howard University rehearsals and publishes it the same year; also publishes the collection of essays Notes of a Native Son and an autobiographical narrative "Equal in Paris," about being jailed in Paris in 1949, originally published in Commentary magazine
1956 -- Publishes Giovanni's Room with Dial Press; accepts National Institute of Arts and Letters Award and a Partisan Review fellowship; covers First Conference of Negro and African Writers and Artists at the Sorbonne, sponsored by Presence Africanize
1957 -- Publishes "Sonny's Blues" in the Partisan Review; Travels to the South on assignment for the Partisan Review, where he interviews student protests and meets with Martin Luther King, Jr.
1959 -- Awarded a two-year Ford Foundation grand to complete Another Country; Interviews film director Ingmar Bergman in Sweden; publishes essay "A Letter From the South: Nobody Knows My Name" in the Partisan Review ; apprentice on Elia Kazan's productions of Sweet Bird of Youth and J.B.
1960 -- Covers sit-ins in Tallahassee, Florida; interviews student at Florida A & M; published "They Can't Turn Back" in Mademoiselle Magazine; Richard Wright dies suddenly
1961 -- Publishes second collection of essays Nobody Knows My Name, Dial Press; publishes the essay "Alas, Poor Richard," another scathing critic of Richard Wright's work; appears on radio and television to promote Nobody Knows My Name and to speak about civil rights; meets Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X; completes Another Country; Swiss television produces "Stranger in the Village"; publishes the "Black Boy Looks at the White Boy"; makes first visit to Turkey at the invitation of Turkish actor Engin Cezzar
1962 -- Publishes Another Country, Dial Press, and it becomes a national best seller; Baldwin travels to West Africa; "Letter from a Region in My Mind" published in The New Yorker, later printed in The Fire Next Time as "Down at the Cross"
1963 -- Publishes The Fire Next Time to national acclaim; appears on the cover of May 17th issue of Time magazine; NAACP Field Secretary and friend Medgar Evers is assassinated on June 12 outside his home in Jackson, Mississippi; starts lecture tour for CORE in the South and the North; registers voters in Alabama for SNCC; wins Polk Memorial Award for outstanding magazine journalism; participates in March on Washington; travels to Nairobi, Kenya, with Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier to celebrate Kenya's independence
1964 -- Elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters; publishes the play Blues for Mr. Charlie, Dial Press, and theater production of Blues for Mr. Charlie appears at the historic American National Theater and Academy (ANTA) in New York; publishes Nothing Personal with photographer and high school friend Richard Avedon, Atheneum Books
1965 -- Debates William F. Buckley at Cambridge and receives standing ovation for his response to "Is the American Dream at the Expense of the American Negro?"; Malcolm X is assassinated in the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem while addressing his Organization of Afro-American Unity; Baldwin attends Selma to Montgomery March; publishes Going to Meet the Man, Dial Press; The play The Amen Corner is performed in New York, Israel, and Europe
1968 -- Publishes the novel Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone, Dial Press; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee; Baldwin speaks at the World Council of Churches in Sweden against apartheid in South Africa; testifies at a Congressional hearing in support of a commission to establish a national museum of African American history and culture; receives personal attacks from Soul on Ice author Eldridge Cleaver
1969 -- Publishes New York Times article "The Price May Be Too High" about black writers in a white publishing industry; directs John Herbert's "Fortune and Men's Eyes" in Istanbul, Turkey
1970 -- Becomes the subject of photographs and a short film From Another Place , both by Sedat Pakay in Istanbul; holds conversations with anthropologist Margaret Mead titled "A Rap On Race"
1971 -- Baldwin and anthropologist Margaret Mead publish the transcript of conversations held in New York in 1970 in a co-authored book titled A Rap On Race; publishes "An Open Letter to My Sister Angela Davis" in New York Times Review of Books; moves to a house in St. Paul de Vence in the South of France
1972 -- Publishes No Name In The Street, Dial Press; publishes the screenplay One Day When I Was Lost, based on Alex Haley's bestselling classic The Autobiography of Malcolm X .
1973 -- Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates secures rare interview with James Baldwin and Josephine Baker together in James Baldwin's house in St. Paul de Vence, France; Baldwin appears with television host and poet Nikki Giovanni on "Soul," and the transcript is published as a dialogue
1974 -- Publishes If Beale Street Could Talk, Dial Press; becomes the third recipient (after writer Tennessee Williams and dancer Martha Graham) of the prestigious Centennial Medal awarded to "The Artist As Prophet" by the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York
1976 -- Publishes what would be his only children's book Little Man, Little Man: A Story of Childhood, with illustrations by Yoran Cazac, Dial Press; publishes the book-length essay The Devil Finds Work
1978 -- Teaches a spring course in contemporary literature at Bowling Green State University in Ohio (returns in the fall of 1979 and 1981); awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Medal
1979 -- Publishes Just Above My Head, his sixth and last novel, Dial Press; goes into seclusion after friend and mentor Beauford Delaney dies in March; teaches at UC Berkeley in the spring and speaks in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Barbara; begins writing and lecturing on black English; publishes "Open Letter to the Born Again" in The Nation; meets Chinua Achebe at the University of Florida, African Literature Association; travels throughout the South
1982 -- Film makers Dick Fontaine and Pat Harley release television documentary of Baldwin' trip through the South "I Heard It Through The Grapevine"
1983 -- Publishes selected poems in Jimmy's Blues, St. Martin's Press; teaches Afro American Studies at University of Amherst in the fall
1984 -- Hospitalized for exhaustion; works on the play The Welcome Table
1985 -- Publishes "Freaks and the American Ideal of Manhood" in Playboy; American Playhouse dramatizes Go Tell It On The Mountain; publishes The Evidence of Things Not Seen, Holt, Rinehart & Winston Publishing; publishes The Price of the Ticket: Collected Non-Fiction, 1948–1985, St. Martin's Press
1986 -- Receives France's highest civilian recognition, the Legion of Honor; travels to the Soviet Union for an international conference and to London for a production of Amen Corner ; suffers fatigue and becomes ill
1987 -- Returns to St. Paul de Vence and is diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus, which spreads to the stomach; grants his last interview to poet and journalist Quincy Troop in mid-November in bed at his home; dies November 30 and his friend and assistant publicly announces his death December 1; memorials are held in St. Paul de Vence and Harlem; is eulogized by Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Amiri Baraka at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York; body buried at Ferncliff Cemetery, Hartsdale, New York
Acquired as a purchase from Baldwin's sister, Paula Baldwin Whaley in 2017.
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